25-09-2013 - 02-02-2014
Louisiana’s autumn exhibition ARCTIC is an account and a staging of the magical attraction that the Arctic regions in general and the North Pole in particular have had for people in Western Europe and America for
more than two centuries. The exhibition is both about the North Pole as a locus of consciousness and in the imagination of artists, scientists, writers and adventurers, and about the polar regions in all their fearsome and fascinating reality. A spectacular, grand-scale visualization leads the public through the imaginings and images that people have had of the magical white desert, through travel and expeditions, finally arriving at what the Arctic truly is: one of the last landscapes more or less without human habitation and perhaps totally unsuitable for that purpose. The idea of the exhibition is to present the big picture of a journey of consciousness through two centuries. It is a crossover exhibition about the ways in which people with very diverse backgrounds convey ideas, imaginings, dreams and visions of the unknown.
The Arctic region has played a huge role in the collective consciousness of our civilization, especially in the nineteenth century. The history of expeditions – with Sir John Franklin, Robert Peary, Fridtjof Nansen, Andrée, Knud Rasmussen and others – involves narratives that range from scientific research through ideals of masculine achievement, adventurousness, empire-building and trade interests to ethnographic fascination with the Eskimo culture.
Art, literature and the entertainment industry keep pace all the way on the sidelines and produce images in the form of paintings, photographs, films, novels, dioramas etc., in a presentation of the nerve-tingling joyous experience of the great wastes. The material of which the exhibition consists offers insight into our culture’s
way of relating to unknown territory.
Asger Jorn & Jackson Pollock Revolutionary Roads
15-11-2013 - 23-02-2014
The exhibition Asger Jorn & Jackson Pollock. Revolutionary Roads focuses on two of the greatest artists of
the twentieth century and on what was happening in expressionist painting in the years 1943-1963 – the period between the war years and the emergence of Pop Art. This is the first time one can experience a comparison of the two artists’ works.
But as was the case with Louisiana’s exhibition Cézanne & Giacometti in 2008, these two prominent artists,
the American Jackson Pollock and the Dane Asger Jorn, never met. They were of the same generation, one born in Cody, Wyoming, USA in 1912 and the other in Vejrum, in Jutland, in 1914. Both were influenced by the same currents – the local tradition and the influence of the great European avant-gardists, especially Picasso and Surrealism. Jorn was in a way born into this as a European, but always insisted on his Nordic origin, although
he also became a determined internationalist. Pollock saw it all filtered through books, artists exiled by Fascism from Europe and the growing art collections in New York. In his own persistent way he remained a determined American in America. Pollock is known all over the world, Jorn primarily in Europe, partly as a result of his refusal to accept the prestigious Guggenheim Award in 1963.
Both were fascinated by Surrealism’s liberation of the unconscious material in the human psyche, and both worked with automatic drawing, drip techniques, canvases on the floor and an experimental application of
the paint. Both artists were intensely interested in myths: in Jorn’s case figures of Norse legend and imaginary beings formed the basis for the idea of a kind of fundamental images, of freer, more direct communication between art and the viewer. Pollock was preoccupied with the sand-paintings of the Native Americans and other folk art, and linked this ornamental tradition with the dynamics of ‘drip’ or ‘action’ painting.
Each in his own way, the two artists revolutionized painting in the post-war years. Pollock represents the climax of modernism, while Jorn with his formal idiom also seeks both to subvert and liberate painting as communication.